I'm worrying about the health care system I am about to move back into, if only for a year. I used to think that although Americans paid too much (for the same drugs and equipment Europeans pay less for), they did really have the best health care. But I just had two super-clear examples of the excessive treatment which can be bad for you as well as causing overspend yesterday.
- Because I turned 50 I had a check up to tell if I was at risk for heart disease. Apparently in the USA they just put you straight on heart medications. I had a 15 minute interview & checkup by a nurse and got told I had a 4% chance of developing heart disease in the next decade so I should come back annually for monitoring.
- The reason it was as high as 4% was that I had a crazy high cholesterol level. They also asked me to come back in six months having not eaten within the previous 12 hours so they can check again. I realised after I left that maybe the problem was that I had a rather heavy black-pudding salad for dinner rather late the previous night (in a pub). One of my friends told me (over social media) he had the same experience only involving a pork roast he'd cooked and wound up slightly over eating, and he'd been put immediately on cholesterol medication with no further checks.